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We get sent a lot of film treats here at BRWC, so here’s a place we can share them with you.  They’ll be clips, trailers, images and posters, links and all sorts.  Enjoy.

GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN gives a rare glimpse into the relationship between beloved children’s author A. A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and his son Christopher Robin, whose toys inspired the magical world of Winnie the Pooh.  Along with his mother Daphne (Margot Robbie), and his nanny Olive (Kelly Macdonald), Christopher Robin and his family are swept up in the international success of the books; the enchanting tales bringing hope and comfort to England after the First World War.   But with the eyes of the world on Christopher Robin, what will the cost be to the family?

This provocative psychological thriller stars Deanna Russo (Being Human, Gossip Girl) as Mary, who moves back to her suburban hometown after her husband gets relocated for work.  As her family ties up loose ends back home, she moves into their new house alone. And although the move makes Mary nostalgic for her youth, there’s something very sinister about that Ice Cream Truck that patrols her suburb.  The Ice Cream Truck also stars Dana Gaier (Despicable Me 3), John Redlinger (Thirst, Banshee), Emil Johnsen (Isolerad), Hilary Barraford (Go For Sisters), Jeff Daniel Phillips (31),  and Lisa Ann Walter (War of the Worlds).

Marvel’s The Defenders which premieres globally on Netflix on 18th August, 2017 at 12:01am PT follows Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Danny Rand/Iron Fist (Finn Jones), a quartet of singular heroes with one common goal – to save New York City. This is the story of four solitary figures, burdened with their own personal challenges, who realize they just might be stronger when teamed together.

From writer/director Noah Baumbach, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is the emotional and comic intergenerational tale of adult siblings (Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, and Elizabeth Marvel) contending with the long shadow their strong-willed father (Dustin Hoffman) has cast over their lives.  With an original screenplay by Baumbach, the film also stars Emma Thompson, Grace Van Patten, Adam Driver, Candice Bergen, Judd Hirsch, and Rebecca Miller. The film was produced by Scott Rudin, Baumbach, Lila Yacoub, and Eli Bush.

Warner Bros. Pictures releases a VR Experience for “IT”, based on the novel by Stephen King. Experience IT like you’ve never imagined before in IT: FLOAT – A Cinematic VR Experience. Meet Pennywise and enter the sewers of Derry and you’ll float too!

New Line Cinema’s horror thriller “IT,” directed by Andrés Muschietti (“Mama”), is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades.

A delightfully quirky documentary (or rather ‘flockumentary’) PECKING ORDER, a smash hit in its home country New Zealand, is a heartfelt, riveting and very funny look inside the unique and competitive world of chicken breeding.

Based on the famous Japanese manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, Death Note follows a high school student who comes across a supernatural notebook, realizing it holds within it a great power; if the owner inscribes someone’s name into it while picturing their face, he or she will die. Intoxicated with his new godlike abilities, the young man begins to kill those he deems unworthy of life.

That’s your lot for now, more soon enough.

After waiting what felt like forever (it was only a year) for Shin Gojira to be released in the UK and being personally taunted by being in Japan for its original release, but unable to watch it, the UK and I were treated to the cinematic release of Shin Gojira last week.

If you’re a fan of Toho’s Godzilla then I think you will absolutely love Shin Gojira. Introducing a new arc and therefore a new origin story, Shin Gojira updates Godzilla into a new world and a new style, excellently combined with all the original elements. As usual, it’s dealing with Godzilla that takes centre stage and not the monster itself, and although we’re introduced to his destructive force (albeit in a different form) much earlier than usual, the intrigue and mystery of  a good Godzilla film remains.

Shin Gojira is more West Wing than Battle Los Angeles and therefore may not quite hit the mark with Hollywood fans. It’s a frighteningly accurate depiction of politics, where decisions take both time and very large committees, contrasting heavily with Hollywood presidents who make instant life changing decisions without the need for changes in law or any consultation whatsoever. This produces a very unique and interesting disaster movie.

The acting in Shin Gojira is steady and honest, with a typical Japanese style. The effects struggle when compared to Godzilla’s big budget Hollywood cousin, but it doesn’t steal away from the impact or horror of the beast. Interestingly Godzilla is far less human than in previous Godzilla depictions and appears completely instinctual which adds more verve to the nuclear metaphor that emanates once again through this film. It’s sometimes easy to forget Godzilla (1954)’s political heritage, but Shin Gojira brings this up to date with almost propaganda proportions.

I will be recommending Shin Gojira to everyone because I love Godzilla, but putting my reviewer hat on instead of my fanboy vest, Shin Gojira is a solid film, and a good example of Toho’s strength and the more serious side of Godzilla. I would firmly recommend this film to Sci-Fi and political drama fans, but for those looking for non-stop violence, it may not be for you.

On the morning of August 15th, the curators of the Raindance Film Festival gathered with members of the press at Vue Leicester Square to announce the programme for the 25th edition of the festival.

‘Discover. Be Discovered’ is the phrase that adorns the festival’s posters. Raindance is a festival dedicated to unearthing hidden gems on the indie scene. As such, the majority of the programme will be unfamiliar to most – and all the better for it. There’s a sense of intrepid adventure to leafing through the programme and picking out films on a whim.

There are a few notable name: Oh Lucy! premiered at this year’s Cannes film festival, and it will open Raindance. Directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi, the film follows a lonely woman living in Tokyo who adopts an American alter ego. It co-stars Josh Hartnett.

Additionally, Laura Schroeder’s Barrage brings international star power to the festival. Another Cannes premiere, it features Isabelle Huppert acting alongside her real life daughter, Lolita Chammah. The two play mother and daughter in a road trip drama about three generations of women.

The programme is split into several categories: including International Features, Documentary Features, the Discovery Award for Best Debut, and UK Features. Additionally, a selection of short films and web series’ will be screened in different categories.

Oh Lucy!

Oh Lucy!

One of the festival’s most exciting new additions is ten different categories of VR experiences that will run from September 28th – October 1st. Over 40 wildly varying VR experiences will be showcased, including animation, narrative and cinematic experiences.

The films will be judged by an impressive jury filled with industry professionals, including Jack O’Connell, Sean Bean, Christopher Eccleston, Ewen Bremner, Jamie Campbell Bower and composer Rachel Portman.

The 25th Raindance Film Festival runs from September 20th – October 1st 2017. It will take place at Vue Leicester Square. Tickets are open to the public now. The full programme can be found here. More information about the festival can be found here.

Writer-director Keir Burrow’s critically acclaimed sci-fi masterpiece “Anti Matter” hits theaters and VOD this September from Uncork’d Entertainment.

Experience “art-house psychological horror at its finest” ( in a “stylish and intriguing” (Shadows on the Wall) take on “Alice in Wonderland“.

Ana, an Oxford PhD student finds herself unable to build new memories following an experiment to generate and travel through a wormhole. The story follows her increasingly desperate efforts to understand what happened, and to find out who – or what – is behind the rising horror in her life.

Featuring a cast “anchored by a strong performance from Yaiza Figueroa” (Eye for Film), “Anti Matter” is a “taut thriller that should appeal to both hard sci-fi fans and those who don’t know their wormholes from their warp drives” (One Room With a View).

What is the movie about, sir?

For me, it’s about science, and overreach, and what makes us human. It’s me trying to ask, is there an intangible, non-physical element to who we are? To take Descartes’ line ‘I think, therefore I am’, and wrap an entertaining movie around it. I also know that sounds helluva floaty, so more directly it’s about a teleportation experiment that goes – well, it seems to go wrong, shall we say. And Ana, the test subject, wakes up and everyone and everything is different, and hostile. And she goes out and investigates. It’s sci-fi, definitely, with some horror elements, with some noir elements. It’s fun, it’s accessible, it’s, I think, smart but not fussily so. I’ve tried to offer some big ideas for people to ponder in a fun, entertaining vehicle.

And if the trailer is anything to go by it would seem to be based on some of the classic fairytales of our youth?

Interesting observation. I’d love to say yes – and funnily enough my next movie cleaves closely to that template, dark fairy tales – but Anti Matter was intended initially as straight science fiction, dry and cerebral, Solaris and Primer. The darker, fairy-tale elements grew during the production process. That was me the director wanting to have genre fun versus me the writer wanting to be all lofty and pseudo-philosophical.

How closely do you stick to that template though?

Not very closely. I’ll need to ponder this one. I think if there was a template I was trying to stick to, it was old gumshoe noir, that paranoid mystery feeling of old detective stories. So it’s a mix of things, of the things I like, definitely. It’s hard to separate my own interests – ie dark fairy tales – and their indirect influences from the more direct influences (sci-fi, film noir) I knowingly roped in when writing the script.

And would you call it a straight-up sci-fi movie? 

Yeah I think I would. It’s proper science fiction. I mean it has other elements as I say, horror, noir, thriller, mystery, but it’s straight up thinking science-fiction. At least I bloody hope that’s what it is, that’s what I intended it to be!

Is there another movie you’d say your movie is reminiscent of?

Primer was a huge influence – watching that ages ago, and being blown away by it – and importantly, realizing how much you can do with no money. Just an idea, if it’s interesting, with science fiction, can be enough. Watch La Jetee – it’s a sci-fi film made from still photos and it’s devastatingly good! It’s been nice to see so many reviews speak positively of the influence of Carruth’s film on mine. It’s not the same though – ours is weirder, spookier I suppose? More graphic novel, which is how I’d describe my style. Then what else? Memento, Prestige, Pi, Moon, Another Earth, they were all movies I watched a lot whilst writing, and making, Anti Matter.

What about the contemporary part of the story – any influences there? Maybe something you read about in the newspaper?

Interesting question, haven’t had that one before. Cool. So no, nothing directly. I mean now I can’t get away from articles on teleportation and particle physics and so on. But at the time of writing, no, not that I can remember anyway. The basic premise stems from a kind of regularly discussed idea, in fiction and in the news, that notion that science can go too far. Will it be our undoing or our salvation? And that question is posed about us as a species, but also as individuals. And it’s a great question that can and will be explored until the end of days in human stories. Anyway, so that was some of what went in to this.

Anti Matter

Anti Matter

How much did you go and learn about worm holes? 

Hahaha my God I did so much research. Honestly. My bookcase groans with tomes on particle physics and relativity. The whole opening, all the science, I was very clear when writing that it couldn’t be gobbledygook. It had to make sense, even if it was at its heart pure fiction. I’ve seen several awful sci-fi Primer ripoffs where people just garble utter nonsense. Made-up words that don’t mean anything. I wanted every conversation my scientists had to at least be somewhat logical – even if it is ultimately made up, it should have scientific sense to it. The steps they take, the scientific method they employ – if a scientist watches Anti Matter, hopefully they’ll go, it’s bollocks, but it’s well-crafted bollocks. I did physics and chemistry all through high school, so I had a rudimentary base understanding of the things I had to research. Hands up admit though I’m ultimately just a layman. So be gentle!

Was Chris Nolan’s Interstellar an influence? Did you watch that before scripting Anti Matter?

No – when did that come out? I think we were already halfway through making Anti Matter, or we’d already started filming anyway, the script locked, when that came out. I remember seeing it and it had the old fold-paper-and-poke-a-pen through to show wormhole physics, and we’d already shot that and I was like, oh bugger. Anyway, totally off question, but Interstellar is effing phenomenal, ain’t it? One of, if not the, best movies of the last decade. Nolan’s best for sure. I love that film so much.

What’s coming up for you?

So various irons in the fire. I have a few scripts finished, so I’ll spend the next couple years hopefully getting those off the ground. I’m not in a rush, always better to go slow and steady and get it right than race madly ahead and create junk. I have a great horror, A Spriggan. It’s proper horror, an old misty woods and creaking floorboards monster movie, a dark fairy tale, Conjuring by-way-of del Toro, that I’m hoping we’ll get a proper budget for. So hopefully that’s next. Several other things. We have two small kids with a third on the way though so I’m busy whatever happens. It’s all good.

Writer/Director Keir Burrows is on Twitter, @keirburrows

Ahead of her eagerly awaited presence at Horror Channel FrightFest 2017, genre icon, actress & producer BARBARA CRAMPTON talks exclusively about her latest film Replace, battling chronic fatigue syndrome and her passion for supporting new talent.

Q: REPLACE raises questions about beauty, body image and growing older, issues that many feel plague the Hollywood movie industry. What is your view on this subject?

The best movies reflect our inner world, our hopes, our good intentions, trials and our demons. Growing old and the fear of death is endemic to all, not just the movie industry. Just when you begin to figure it out your back aches, your skin starts to wrinkle and you gain weight just by LOOKING at your food. Let’s be frank: Aging sucks! But it also gives you a calendar to get things done. If we had an abundance of time we might be sloths putting off everything and accomplishing nothing. To me the best thing you can do is to live in each moment as successfully as possible. That translates to all areas of your life, personal, career and lifestyle choices.

I am not immune however to feeling the anxiety of it all and I do believe most of us lack a grace about allowing nature and gravity to happen. We are collectively obsessed with youth and beauty that’s a problem.

Q: Co-writer/director Norbert Keil says he got the idea for Replace after going to hospital for a back operation. Was that something you could empathise with – the feelings of mortality raised when in such a medical environment?

It wasn’t a medical environment that did it for me but rather a chronic illness. I developed chronic fatigue syndrome 12 years ago after a parasite I had went undiagnosed for 9 months. I was literally in bed for 2 years. The worst time of my life. I was confronted with the fear of the termination of my long term health. Some people live with CFS and never recover. The medical community is  still baffled by the syndrome. For me it was quite possibly that my immune system was acting in overdrive, first to rid itself of the parasite and then not being able to turn itself off when the parasite was eradicated. One doctor saved me. Per his instructions I had to become a model patient and test every part of my being: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. I worked on every system to lubricate every aspect. I actually healed things I didn’t realize needed work. Finally my body calmed down and recovered. At one point though, when I was at my lowest, I thought, “Is this it? I haven’t done enough yet!” After I was better, that’s when I started working harder on everything, including my appreciation for being here.

Barbara Crampton in Replace.

Barbara Crampton in Replace.

Q: Doctor Rafaela Crober was a part originally written for a man, so what if anything changed in the script to accommodate your feminine side?

Not too much. A few pieces of dialogue here and there. Science is not male or female and the quest for longevity, which is really what Dr. Crober is interested in, transcends gender.

Q: You’ve said you wanted to play Doctor Crober as someone in full control, can you elaborate?

Crober is playing with science too, albeit for different reasons than Kira, her patient. She has to be so sure of herself and where she thinks the journey will take mankind to pursue such lofty goals. Saying more would give too much away if you haven’t seen the film.

Q: Richard Stanley was a co-writer on Replace. Were you familiar with his work and reputation and did he attend the shooting?

Of course, his reputation is legendary. Richard is a fascinating visionary, an artist. He got a very raw deal on The Island of Dr. Moreau. Fortunately people in the industry realize this and he has some great opportunities coming up. Long overdue.

Q: Replace is such a visually stunning movie with a very precise look. How does seeing that magic happening around you colour your performance?

To be honest I did not visualize the movie as it was (in the finished film) while on set. I had a picture in my mind when I read the script that was very subjective to my character. The visuals blew me away when I saw the final finished film. It makes sense though I think, that the visuals are so beautiful and striking, as the movie is from the mind of protagonist Kira. She’s looking for beauty to support the needs of her soul.

Q: The film has an early David Cronenberg feel, did director Norbert Keil discuss any body horror influences or inspirations with you?

Cronenberg was a very direct influence. And I think the themes of Richard’s work on The Island of Dr. Moreau.

Q: You have now been a guest at many of the world’s fantasy festivals. And this is your second time at FrightFest. Why are these events so important and what makes FrightFest stand out?

I am so grateful to back in the film community and to be fortunate enough to travel to Fests where audiences support and love genre cinema. We are in a transitional period though I believe and festivals for film are one of the only things keeping us alive, supporting new film makers. Film fests are sometimes your only theatrical release so it is of great importance to have your film shown at one that audiences will hopefully love and a distribution company will hopefully buy. FrightFest has a very saavy audience and a very vocal one. You want people to cheer for you and have journalists write a nice review to get distribution companies to make you an offer!

Q: You’re more prolific in the genre than ever. You had four movies showing at FrightFest in 2015 and you have another four in post-production. You are clearly enjoying it more this time around?

I’m having a ball really while enjoying the work in a way I never did before. I’m much more relaxed about my place in the business and I enjoy helping others realize the same dreams I had at a young age. I am invested in each project I work on even if I’m not involved in a producer capacity. I want to help others create the best film they possibly can.

Q: You’ve chosen to be a mentor for FrightFest & MPI Media’s NEW BLOOD Initiative. Is supporting new genre writers an important mission for you?

I am passionate about having the best script possible to begin the journey to creating a film. I do think that too many times the script isn’t as good as it could be and “people” forgive themselves too soon about that and forge ahead with submitting a script or filming without being completely ready. The script is your foundation, spend lots of time on it. I love writers. They have the capacity for insight and understanding of human nature, of people’s vulnerabilities, strengths and desires. When I read a great script with characters I care about, I fall in love with the writer a little bit.

I feel I can help a lot with the development process of a screenplay. Character is story and story is character. The journey that an actor will take in the story is something I am very familiar with and have worked on a lot. The script is the very first thing you begin with, so let’s get that right first. Then we can discuss the importance of making a great first impression with your freshman effort if you want to direct it as well. It used to be that you made a film and people in charge would see “promise” in you and you’d be able to move on to your next movie. That’s becoming harder and harder for a lot of reasons. Make the best damn first film you can.

My friend, esteemed journalist and film critic, Steve Prokopy said to me recently, “20% of all movies are truly great or really awful. The rest exist in a grey zone of average, above average or below average.”  What kind of movie do you want people to say you’ve made? Impressions are important on a first date and a first movie.

Barbara Crampton in Replace.

Barbara Crampton in Replace.

Q: You’re increasingly becoming involved in films as a producer. Do you feel this is a natural progression in your career?

At this point in my life and career it depends on the project. If I really love something I’ll want to work on it. For me a story needs a strong narrative with an emotional core. That’s what my sensibilities are attracted to. I really love acting and I do enjoy helping others realize their dream.

Q: Finally, what’s next?

I have two projects that I’m actively working on to produce. One, I may have an acting part in as well. There are also a few movies which I shot in the last two years or so as an actor only and they are still in various stages of post-production. Hopefully I’ll be seeing you next year on the fest circuit with one of those!

REPLACE receives its UK Premiere on Sunday 27 Aug, 3.30pm at The Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square, as part of Horror Channel FrightFest 2017. Barbara is also a mentor for the FrightFest / MPI Media UK script writing talent search NEW BLOOD

What is The Ice Cream Truck about?

The Ice Cream Truck is about Mary, a mid 30s mom who moves from progressive Seattle to her Suburban Hometown. She moves into her new home alone just ahead of her family to set things up. It’s during this time that Mary notices a strange Ice Cream Truck patrolling the neighborhood and quickly notices all the terrifying things that lurk in the seemingly safe façade of Suburbia.

And would you call it a straight-up thriller?

I love horror, but mostly I love the horror films of the 70s. Somewhere along the line in the horror genre, films like that, which put a focus on suspense over blood and jump scares fell by the wayside. I would say The Ice Cream Truck mixes some genres but it’s mostly a psychological thriller with slasher elements.

Is there another movie you’d say your movie is reminiscent of?

I don’t think there is one movie specifically. I think there are a lot of influences. When putting this film together I used to jokingly describe it as “If Roman Polanski, David Lynch and John Waters had a baby.”

Megan Freels Johnston

Megan Freels Johnston in The Ice Cream Truck

What about the killer? Any influences there? Maybe someone you read about in the newspaper?

There really wasn’t a specific influence for the Ice Cream Man. I feel like the symbolism people picture when thinking of Suburbia is the 1950s and 60s. I wanted the Ice Cream Man to be reminiscent of that time. I wanted him to be like a sarcastic soda jerk. In almost of all my projects, my villains have a voice. I love giving great dialog to the bad guys. It’s so fun to think of what they’d say.

Are you now afraid to buy ice cream from a truck?

The area where I was living in Los Angeles, had Ice Cream Trucks that served real ice cream like cones and banana splits. That seemed so gross to me, so that fear of buying Ice Cream from essentially a van, is what prompted the story. I was always too grossed out to buy the ice cream, unless a craving presented itself!

If you were to buy ice cream, what flavor would you order?

I’m a big fan of Rocky Road. But let’s be honest, I love all ice cream.

Are any of the characters in the film based on people you know? 

I think the representation of Mary is a combination of my friends and I. Most of my friends have kids and I think we all struggle with the feeling of becoming parents and realizing our youth is behind us. I think also as women, we deal with things that are scary that perhaps men don’t have to encounter, such as the Delivery Man.

Do you think we’ll see ‘The Ice Cream Truck 2’?

Hey, if there was an intelligent way to make The Ice Cream Truck 2, I would be all over it! What are the rules of horror sequels, “More deaths, larger body count!” Count me in!

Any half decent actor can make words on a page sound real; what makes a master is moment to moment unpredictability.

It’s why we all adore Isabelle Huppert. It’s why Kristen Stewart is the latest arthouse sensation. It’s what Rooney Mara has too ― the ability to be so in touch with a character that each glance and intonation is unprecedented. She thinks beyond the obvious. Every moment brings something new.

However, Mara has something more than mere talent. There are hundreds of great actors playing character roles and working in theatre who are obscure to the masses. Hollywood fixated on her where it ignored many worthy others. Sure, her rich family’s high status was able to help her gain visibility quicker than she might have otherwise, but that can only do so much: the lukewarm (so far) career of her talented but less distinguishable sister Kate is evidence enough of that.

Mara is divisive: some outright dismiss her and others seem to devote their entire online existence to defending her and claiming her for their own. That’s only further proof that her success is not simply built on likeable prettiness and passable talent. She has a quality to her that sets her apart from all of her contemporaries.

I wouldn’t be the first to call her ‘otherworldly’: as Therese Belivet in Carol she was described as having been ‘flung out of space’. It’s a phrase that will likely follow Mara for the rest of her career, so perfectly does it capture her appeal. Like Tilda Swinton, her odd and entrancing combination of features ― and the rounded tone of her voice ― makes her an object of fascination. Her indefinable appearance also allows her to dissolve and reform with each new role.

Yet Mara is a bundle of contradictions. She seems flung out of space, but her understanding of how humans work is acute and perceptive. In interviews, she’s identified herself as a ‘people watcher’. It shows: she not only understands people, but she understands what it is that we find interesting about each other. She understands why we have a compulsion to watch actors. She is fascinating to watch when a director lets her exist in a space, because she understands the root of that fascination ― and how to feed it.

It’s easy for a director to misuse her talents. Her collaborations have been mostly stellar lately, but such a prolific actress is bound to have some missteps.

Earlier this year, Charlie McDowell’s The Discovery reduced her to a type, and despite Mara’s best efforts, her defining qualities began to feel like affectations ― because she was given nothing else to work with. Her first appearance in the film feels like we’re being thrown a life raft ― with her excitingly alternative star appeal acting as a rescue from the film’s pervading dullness ― but eventually her intriguing energy is stifled.

Luckily The Discovery is one of a few exceptions to the rule (let’s not mention Pan, shall we?). A list of her best films would be different from the one I’m about to unveil: for starters, Her would figure highly ― a film in which her uniqueness works well to make a series of brief flashbacks feel vivid. A list of greatest performances might also be slightly different: a lesser thought of ― and flawed ― film such as Side Effects might have earned a spot. Instead, here are the five performances that have defined Mara’s career thus far, in honour of her quietly stunning turn in A Ghost Story ― out in UK cinemas today.

5. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013)

Before A Ghost Story, Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck collaborated with David Lowery on his second feature: Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. The two stars remain separate throughout most of the film, and they have roughly equal amounts of screen time ― but Mara is the one that matters.

Set in 1970s Texas, the film’s rustic stylings make it feel even further back in time than it is. It’s a fable, so distant from our modern world that even the late-on appearance of a landline phone feels invasive. At the very beginning, Mara and Affleck’s married couple are split apart by his arrest for a murder she committed, and that they were both complicit in.

The film follows his jailbreak and journey to be reunited with her ― while her life goes on after having his child. Like A Ghost Story, this lyrical, gentle, sunlit tale is about moving on. The mechanics of the plot depend on Affleck, but the thematic heart lies solely with Mara’s journey to find peace and independence. It is a transcendent piece of cinema, and she helps it soar.

4. The Social Network (2010)

It only took one scene for Rooney Mara to announce her arrival. The year before David Fincher helped her to her first Oscar nomination with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, he cast her as the muse to Jesse Eisenberg’s Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Networkthe story of the creation of Facebook.

The film’s iconic opening scene is perhaps the finest concentrated example of Aaron Sorkin’s rapid fire, intricate dialogue ― and Eisenberg and Mara devour it. They war with words, and Mara’s presence is fierce enough to give Eisenberg’s ensuing journey motivation: she starts the film by dumping him and barely appears again, but his desire to get his own back fuels the entire story. It makes total sense that, after all is said and done, he ends up back where he started ― fixated on the girl who left such an unforgettable impression.

3. A Ghost Story (2017)

Rooney Mara eats a pie in this movie.

Based on the initial Sundance reactions, you might think that that’s all that happens in A Ghost Story. It’s not: this movie spans lifetimes, and manages to encompass the whole of life on earth within 90 minutes. Still, many reduced it to one ten minute scene, mostly shot in a single static take. Yes, Rooney Mara does eat a pie in this movie, and as much as I hate to reduce the film down to that… it is glorious.

The scene’s fast-growing mythology already makes Mara’s performance as the unnamed M one of her most ‘definitive’ ― but it’s not just the novelty that makes it notable. Mara’s acting throughout the film is some of her most nuanced. Without a hint of melodrama, she gently articulates the isolated experience of grief.

The pie scene is the pinnacle, being the clearest example in the actress’ career of that moment-to-moment magic she’s able to conjure. During those near-silent five minutes, spent doggedly attacking the pie while sitting on the floor, the stakes are lowered so much that a crumb falling to the floor becomes a major event. However, while all Mara is doing is eating and snivelling ― in a shot that doesn’t even allow us to see her whole face ― every forkful feels different. She is not simply eating a pie. She is cannibalising her grief. We feel it all along with her.

2. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)       

The Social Network may be a more important film, but when it comes to Rooney Mara’s career, nothing was more revelatory than The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Mara often makes subtle physical transformations, but Dragon Tattoo is a whole different ball park ― she is unrecognisable. The role of Lisbeth Salander was previously taken on (in acclaimed fashion) by Noomi Rapace, and devotees to the original were hesitant to accept David Fincher’s American version. Still, there was little doubt when it came to Rooney Mara’s performance.

It defined Mara as an actress who is unconcerned with her star image ― only the image of the individual characters she plays. Curiously, the role hasn’t led to similar roles for Mara ― perhaps because people aren’t writing many female characters similar to Lisbeth ― but it has come to define how we see her and the amount of professional respect she is afforded. There are those who unfairly criticise actresses similar to Mara for a lack of range, but with Dragon Tattoo she silenced them before they had a chance to open their mouths.

1. Carol (2015)

Rooney Mara’s best performance is in Carol. It is the performance that most defines her image. It also might just be the best film she has ever starred in ― high praise that is easily earned by Todd Haynes’ masterpiece.

It is a beautiful love story, that expands the book’s scope to include the perspectives of both main characters ― Therese Belivet (Mara) and Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) ― rather than keeping us confined within Therese’s headspace. However, the film still works exceptionally well as a detailed character study of Therese, largely because of the extraordinarily nuanced, incremental transformation that Mara executes throughout the course of the film.

It is not a screamingly obvious physical transformation like the one in Dragon Tattoo, but rather one of strengthening physicality ― the growth from girl to woman. Throughout, Mara makes a strong case that she should be cast in an Audrey Hepburn biopic: the resemblance is uncanny. During the film she seems to grow in stature, as if she is filling out her own skin. She becomes more and more refined, slowly coming to resemble the glamorous side of Hepburn’s celebrity persona. She embodies the way that a person can totally transform when afforded the luxuries of a love that gives them self confidence and a sense of self worth.

Startlingly, the Academy placed her in the Supporting Actress category… which couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, she acts across from a superlative, career-best Cate Blanchett ― and still manages to steal the show.

There are countless obstacles that thwart, limit and restrict women in the film industry. There is a distinct lack of female directors and screenwriters in film; but not due to lack of talent (see the recent successes of Sofia Coppola, Ava DuVernay and Patty Jenkins) and leading roles for actresses beyond a certain age are also often said to be rare, as scripts that incorporate this demographic are not being written or optioned as frequently.

The campaign to change these injustices is ongoing, and there have been visible successes in recent times, with the likes of Jennifer Lawrence driving a hard bargain to rectify the pay gap, but the battle is also taking place on the screen itself. In Their Finest, a WWII-set comedy drama directed by Lone Scherfig, we see a female scriptwriter overcome the tiresome misogynistic view that her only use to the film is to write the “slop”, AKA “the female dialogue”, and Gemma Arterton’s Catrin blazes the trail as a result.

Their Finest releases on digital platforms on August 14th and on DVD & Blu-ray on August 21st, and to celebrate we’re taking a look at celluloid’s finest trailblazing women who stick it to the man (quite literally), and have well and truly smashed through the various glass ceilings on screen.

Holly Golightly – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

The already iconic Audrey Hepburn takes on the greatest role of her career in the adaptation of Truman Capote’s novel Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The film follows a lonely, struggling writer who becomes enchanted with his neighbour: an independent young woman who strives to be a high-climbing socialite with a penchant for high-fashion and wild parties.

He soon discovers the woman’s innate vulnerability, and her true identity as an estranged wife from Texas, who has run away in pursuit of a better life. Hepburn’s portrayal of Holly Golightly as the naïve, eccentric socialite is as powerful now as it was upon its 1961 release, showing true courage and will that inspired generations of women.

Ripley – Alien (1979)

Fast forward a few years and Ridley Scott presents a completely new vision of a female lead: hard-as-nails Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), who needs no man to assist her in kicking alien ass, and unlike the multitude of female leads to precede her, Ridley is not sexualised in the slightest. In this terrifying first instalment of the franchise, Ripley quickly realises that she must gather all the courage she can muster, and destroy the beast that has swiftly devoured her ship’s crew in the dark depths of outer space.

By casting a female in the lead role, Scott’s created a heroine foil to the archetypal male action hero of the time, marking a breakthrough for female roles in cinema that was soon replicated for years to come in films such as Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Kill Bill and The Hunger Games.

Marge Gunderson – Fargo (1996)

In this Coen Brothers classic about an organised kidnapping that goes horribly wrong, Francis McDormand plays the pregnant Police Chief Marge Gunderson who is investigating the case that is linked with a series of homicides across the frozen tundra. McDormand brilliantly captures the tricky juxtaposition of being incredibly sweet and loveable, whilst also operating in a particularly no-nonsense manner, as she tries to make sense of the twisted world in front of her.

The fact that Marge is heavily pregnant barely figures into the film, even as she’s pointing her gun fearlessly at a man doing unspeakable things to a wood chipper, again proving that she is a truly multi-faceted character that does not conform to any of the female screen stereotypes of the time.

Erin Brockovich – Erin Brockovich (2000)

Julia Roberts’s Oscar-winning performance as Erin Brockovich is as fierce as they come. The single mother of three who loses a personal injury lawsuit starts work as an assistant at a law firm. Whilst struggling to find time to dedicate to work and to her children, she becomes enthused by a case against Pacific Gas and Electric, and begins to lead the battle against the corporation, earning respect from the lawyers that once looked down on her and the community that she represents.

Eventually she unearths a systematic cover-up of the industrial poisoning of a city’s water supply, which threatens the health of thousands of residents, doing what her male counterparts couldn’t, all the while raising a family, and proving the haters wrong.

Juno – Juno (2007)

There are many things about this smart and witty indie comedy written by the brilliant Diablo Cody that can be food for thought, but Ellen Page’s brilliant lead performance of an intelligent teenage girl determined to have her ‘unexpected’ child is nothing short of mesmerising. Throughout the film Juno is pushed and pulled this way and that by people trying to convince her of what to do with her own body, but she remains resolute and does exactly what she sets out to do.

All the while, Juno is determined not to lose sight of the fact that she is a regular high school teenager who just wants to have fun. Valiantly battling against the emotional and social fallouts of her decision to keep the baby, this plucky young woman takes a situation most would be terrified of and makes it into her own journey, and although she makes mistakes along the way, it was always hers.

Catrin Cole – Their Finest (2017)

Lone Sherfig’s London-set World War II drama-comedy presents a 1940s female scriptwriter’s struggles to be taken seriously in the workplace. Gemma Arterton plays Catrin who is hired to help bring a “woman’s touch” to the propaganda films by writing all the “slop”, but ends up becoming the driving force behind the production of a feature length film based on the Dunkirk rescue, commissioned to inspire America to join the war. During the film’s production, Catrin manages to disprove all the men who doubted her talent and worth, including her husband and colleagues; something that will definitely ring true for modern day audiences.


We get sent a lot of film treats here at BRWC, so here’s a place we can share them with you.  They’ll be clips, trailers, images and posters, links and all sorts.  Enjoy.

Based on true events, A Taxi Driver follows two very different men as they become swept up in a movement that will change the course of a nation’s history forever. Director Hang Joon (The Front Line) begins his film as a charming road movie filled with humour and colourful period detail, before taking a more serious turn as both driver and passenger are affected by the situation unfolding around them.

It’s 1980, and the political climate of South Korea is tense. Just one year earlier the country’s authoritarian president was assassinated and the military seized power through a coup d’état. Now, democracy movements that were once firmly suppressed are on the rise, but a tragic event that will change the course of the country’s history looms on the horizon.

Oblivious to all of this is taxi driver Man-seob (Song Kang-ho, The Age of Shadows, The Host). Struggling to raise his daughter on a meagre salary, Man-seob jumps at the chance to take a mysterious foreigner on a trip from Seoul down to the southern city of Gwangju. His passenger, it turns out, is a German journalist (Thomas Kretschmann, Avengers: Age of Ultron) with a secret agenda to investigate the strange rumours emanating from the far-flung town…


Directed by Dan Bush (The Signal) and Produced by Tom Butterfield and Luke Daniels, The Vault stars Francesca Eastwood(Outlaws and Angels), Taryn Manning (Orange is the New Black, 8 Mile, Hustle & Flow), Scott Haze (Granite Mountain, Midnight Special), Q’Orianka Kilcher (The New World) with Clifton Collins Jr. (Pacific Rim, Star Trek) and James Franco (127 Hours, Rise of the Planet of the Apes). 

In order to save their brother Michael’s life, the Dillon sisters, Leah and Vee have organized a bank robbery, but when the upstairs vault doesn’t have enough money to cover Michael’s debt, on the advice of Assistant Bank Manager Ed Maas, they drill into the downstairs vault. But the bank’s basement hides a terrible secret and before long, the Dillons have to choose whether to face the police outside or the terrible supernatural forces in the vault below.

The new poster for PATTI CAKE$

The new poster for PATTI CAKE$

THE ODYSSEY, directed by Jérôme Salle (Zulu, Anthony Zimmer) and starring Audrey Tautou (Amelie The Da Vinci Code), Lambert Wilson (Ernest & Celestine, Of Gods and Men) and César Award winning actor Pierre Niney (Frantz, Yves Saint Laurent) is set to open in the UK and Ireland on 18 August 2017, by distributor Altitude (Moonlight, Lady Macbeth).  The film examines the life of ocean-explorer and adventurer Jacques Cousteau, one of the iconic figures of the 1960s.

New Line Cinema’s horror thriller “IT”, directed by Andrés Muschietti (“Mama”), is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades.  When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries. 



Eureka Entertainment to release BUSTER KEATON: 3 FILMS, a collection of essential films from one of the greats of cinema operating at the height of his powers, as part of The Masters of Cinema Series on Blu-ray from stunning new 4K restorations in a lavish limited edition (3000 copies) 3-disc hardbound boxed set on 16 October 2017.

In a not so distant future, where overpopulation and famine have forced governments to undertake a drastic “One Child Policy,” seven identical sisters live a hide-and-seek existence pursued by the Child Allocation Bureau. The Bureau, directed by the fierce Nicolette Cayman (Glenn Close), enforces a strict family-planning agenda that the sisters outwit by taking turns assuming the identity of one person: Karen Settman (Noomi Rapace). Taught by their grandfather (Willem Dafoe) who raised and named them – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – each can go outside once a week as their common identity, but are only free to be themselves in the prison of their own apartment. That is until, one day, Monday does not come home…

Conducted at the 2017 Showmasters’ London Film & Comic Con from 28-30 July, the 100,000 plus attendees of this must visit weekend event were invited to vote for their favourite scene to celebrate TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAYs breath-taking new 3D conversion in UK cinemas on August 29th.  Adam Farina, managing director at Fixer International and promotions and partnership director for Showmasters events said:  “The fact that Terminator 2: Judgment day will be back in cinemas on 29th of August is every fans dream. To think that we got some of the best of those fans together at London Film & Comic Con and had them remember the film and vote on what scene was their favourite just adds to the joy and excitement of re-experiencing this movie in 4K and 3D! As this is my favourite movie – I know I’m looking forward to it!”

Having originally hit British screens in 1991, complete with groundbreaking special effects, this became Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (Total Recall, Predator) most iconic role to date, as well as one of the most quotable scripts of the decade, this brand new 3D version will blast the seminal blockbuster into the 21st century and introduce it to a brand new generation of fans.  It has been 10 years since the events of Terminator. Sarah Connor’s (Linda Hamilton The Terminator, Dante’s Peak) ordeal is only just beginning as she struggles to protect her son John (Edward Furlong American History X, Pecker), the future leader of the human resistance against the machines, from a new Terminator (Robert Patrick Walk the Line, ‘The X Files’), sent back in time to eliminate John Connor while he’s still a child. Sarah and John don’t have to face this terrifying threat alone however. The human resistance have managed to send them an ally, a warrior from the future ordered to protect John Connor at any cost.

The battle for tomorrow has begun…

Now that the bloody hunt for Pablo Escobar has ended, the DEA turns its attention to the richest drug trafficking organization in the world: the Cali Cartel. Led by four powerful godfathers, this cartel operates much differently than Escobar’s, preferring to bribe government officials and keep its violent actions out of the headlines.

That’s your lot for now, more soon enough.